Gauḍapāda (Sanskrit: गौडपाद; fl.c. 6th century CE), also referred as Gauḍapādācārya (“Gauḍapāda the Teacher”), was an early medieval era Hindu philosopher and scholar of the Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. While details of his biography are uncertain, his ideas inspired others such as Adi Shankara who called him a Paramaguru (highest teacher).Gaudapada was the author or compiler of the Māṇḍukya Kārikā, also known as Gaudapada Karika.
The text consists of four chapters (also called four books), of which Chapter Four uses Buddhist terminology thereby showing it was influenced by Buddhism. However, doctrinally Gaudapada’s work is Vedantic, and not Buddhist. The first three chapters of Gaudapada’s text have been influential in the Advaita Vedanta tradition.
Parts of the first chapter that include the Mandukya Upanishad have been considered a valid scriptural source by the Dvaita and Vishistadvaita schools of Vedanta.